Page 5 - Elements-Fall2012
P. 5
elements FALL 2012

The Allegheny County ofce
building green roof one year
after planting. Four intensities
of green roof construction are
being evaluated.

Sweet Spot


Incorporating green or If you’ve ever seen a newly- will be rewarded with reduced stormwater
sustainable elements is planted green roof, you can utility costs and will also enjoy the ancillary
no longer a fad or simply a understand that, while beautiful benefts of added park-like settings and
reduced cooling and heating bills.
PR campaign. Building owners from the start, things will only Another CEC project was the design and
are seizing opportunities to turn up-front improve with time. As it blossoms, installation of a 48,500-sq. ft. green roof
investments into long-term cost savings. To a green roof has the potential monitoring system that tracks stormwater
that end, it is important to assess efcacy to make a lasting impact on the management performance at Rockwell
so that investments can be validated.
environment and, equally as Automation headquarters in Milwaukee.
CEC has designed and installed several important, on the bottom line. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage
green roof and green infrastructure District provided grant support to Rockwell
monitoring projects. “The purpose of Automation for the monitoring system,
monitoring a green roof is to demonstrate knowing the system would return dividends
that it works and to quantify how well,” by reducing combined sewer volume.
says John Buck, an Ecological Services According to Buck, Milwaukee is ahead
project manager. “It’s not just about green of the curve in wastewater management
cache; it’s about improved long-term practices. For green infrastructure to be
operating and maintenance costs.”
widely adopted, decision-makers must be
Sometimes validation comes sooner than more comfortable with its efcacy. The data
planned. After the green roof was installed CEC is able to collect and analyze provides
at the Allegheny County ofce building compelling evidence. Direct measurements
in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, show that green roofs are making a
building operators compared pre- diference in the quantity and intensity
installation (2009) and post-installation of stormwater runof.
(2010) annual electric costs and discovered The beauty of the data, however, is two-
electric utility costs were $90,000 less fold: Yes, it allows for informed decisions
within the frst year, despite the fact that about including green infrastructure, but
2010 had the hottest summer on record it also allows CEC to help clients maximize
at the time. combined sewage systems. Pittsburgh functionality and savings. By comparing
Buck believes the incorporation and is one of several cities working towards several styles or “intensities” of green roof
monitoring of green infrastructure will only including such a fee. “My gut guess is that construction, CEC can determine how to get
increase. In a growing number of urban stormwater utilities will soon be common,” the desired results at the best cost, guiding
settings, property owners will be required says Buck. Ultimately, urban property clients to a fnancial and functional sweet
to pay a utility fee for stormwater entering owners who incorporate green infrastructure spot in green roof design. n

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